Just 54 days stand between Boro's Premier League return and a buzzing Ben Gibson says he can't wait to kick-off the new season at home to Stoke City.

Boro were handed a home game for our first top flight tie in seven years after the Premier League fixture list was released.

Now with the countdown on to pre-season, Gibson is already looking ahead to August 13 when Mark Hughes' Potters travel to Teesside.

"Obviously now I'm just super excited," said the defender. "Now I've seen the fixtures it's finally sinking in a little bit. 

"I'm absolutely made up to have the first game at home - I have no doubt it will be a sell-out. 

"These are the exciting times that we've been working towards for so long to bring back and they're finally here on our doorstep. 

"It's really exciting, the whole town will be buzzing. I'm chuffed that we've got the first game at home but it's just great seeing the teams. 

"You know who you're going to be playing when you get into the Premier League but to actually see it on paper is extra special."

Fans won't have to wait long for the first derby of the season, with a trip to the Stadium of Light being the first away game of the season.

As a Teessider and Boro fan, Gibson is unsurprisingly desperate to be involved when Boro meet Sunderland on August 20.

"It doesn't get much bigger in terms of the rivalry between fans for Middlesbrough," he said.

"I know Newcastle is their main derby but for Boro fans the Sunderland and Newcastle games are absolutely huge. 

"It will be good to get one again. We've had a couple of cup ones but getting one in the league is what it's all about. 

"To get one so early shows what the Premier League is all about and I can't wait."